THERE are not many people who can say they saved a life on their first day on the job.
But for 22-year-old paramedic trainee Jenna Howell, performing CPR on a patient in the back of an ambulance is all in a day's work.
"I can't really remember what I was thinking at the time," she said.
"I just knew I needed to help this person.
"CPR is very different on a person to a dummy."
The former hairdresser and vet's assistant is part of the new Channel 10 series Recruits: Paramedics.
Given Howell's chosen field of work, she never expected to be filmed while learning
the tricks of her trade, nor was she prepared to be interviewed about her life on and off screen.
But when The Guide caught up with the trainee for her first interview, she didn't let her nerves get the better of her.
Instead she spoke with intense passion and empathy about working as a paramedic.
"I have finally found my niche," she said.
"I still have those days that I doubt myself, but every day is a growing experience."
Howell's desire to become a paramedic stems from her passion to help people when they are most vulnerable.
"It is a privilege to be able to assist people when they need help the most," she said.
When she isn't saving lives she can be found barging, shoulder-checking and blocking people in the full-body contact sport of roller derby.
"It is the best stress release," she laughs.
"I love it - it is an adrenaline rush."
The Sydney-sider is well aware the job can take a toll both mentally and physically, which is why she takes time out and focuses on the positive things in life.
She said being at the centre of human tragedy wasn't easy to live with, but at the end of the day she could think of no better way to spend her life.
"It has made me more thankful of the life I have," she said.
"You see just how fast things can change. It can happen in an instant.
"It makes you appreciate what you have."
Recruits: Paramedics - Ten - Thursdays at 7.30pm
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